DT eyes re­main­ing 10 pct stake Greece still holds in OTE

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - VAN­GE­LIS MANDRAVELIS

Deutsche Telekom is ex­press­ing re­newed in­ter­est in ac­quir­ing the 10 per­cent stake in the Hel­lenic Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Or­ga­ni­za­tion (OTE) that be­longs to the Greek state.

Yes­ter­day Ti­motheus Hoettges, the new head of the Ger­man tele­com gi­ant, which cur­rently holds 40 per­cent of the Greek telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions provider, met with Prime Min­is­ter An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras and the man­age­ment of OTE and re­port­edly told them that a new ac­qui­si­tion would be ben­e­fi­cial to DT.

Hoettges in­formed Sa­ma­ras about the Ger­man group’s strat­egy on tele­com growth in­ter­na­tion­ally, as well as plans for the de­vel­op­ment of the OTE group in Greece with the re­al­iza­tion of in­vest­ments to­tal­ing 1.2 bil­lion eu­ros in the next four years.

“For us, OTE con­sti­tutes an in­vest­ment of strate­gic sig­nif­i­cance with long-term prospects,” the head of the Ger­man com­pany said as he left the prime min­is­ter’s of­fice. He added that OTE “has achieved its op­er­a­tion trans­for­ma­tion into a high-per­for­mance com­pany with healthy fi­nan­cial fig­ures and low bor­row­ing.”

Sa­ma­ras lauded DT’s in­vest­ment in Greece, brand­ing it the “tan­gi­ble con­fi­dence” of a ma­jor in­ter­na­tional group in the Greek econ­omy.

OTE of­fi­cials qual­i­fied Hoettges’s con­tacts in Athens as ac­quain­tance meet­ings, but many peo­ple in the know are be­gin­ning to dis­cern an agree­ment be­tween the gov­ern­ment and the Ger­man com­pany con­cern­ing the re­main­ing Greek hold­ing in OTE, which amounts to 10 per­cent and be­longs to the state and the So­cial Se­cu­rity Foun­da­tion (IKA). Speak­ing to some 400 OTE of­fi­cials, Hoettges made no se­cret of his in­ten­tions, say­ing that “the 40 per­cent [stake] does not con­sti­tute a prospect for the fu­ture.”

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